Rex Ryan wants Charles Clay on his football team. Badly.
That is why, a week after the Buffalo Bills began in earnest the process of acquiring the tight end, they’re still at it.
Clay continues to carry the transition tag the Miami Dolphins applied to him, but a source close to the situation insisted Monday that the Bills’ interest in him has not wavered, and they are going to follow through with plans to sign him to an offer sheet. Once that happens, the Dolphins will have five days to match to retain him or allow him to depart.
The source put the Bills’ chance of landing Clay at “90 percent.”
Ryan has been the driving force in the Bills’ pursuit of Clay, the source said. The Bills’ new coach knows the challenges Clay presented when he was coach of the New York Jets during the multiple times they faced him from 2011 to 2014. Clay, whom the Bills flew to Western New York for three days last week, has 17 career receptions against the Jets for 169 yards and two touchdowns. In Clay’s four-year NFL career, he has 161 receptions for 1,809 yards. The tight end has scored 14 touchdowns.
What’s the holdup making an offer?
The same as it has been since Clay first became a Bills target. The Bills apparently are still studying their own cap numbers and those of the Dolphins to put them in the best possible position of making an offer Miami wouldn’t match.